Village appeal to get bells ringing

VILLAGERS have launched an appeal to raise money needed to repair and restore the six bells in their parish church - currently considered unsafe to be rung regularly.

VILLAGERS have launched an appeal to raise money needed to repair and restore the six bells in their parish church - currently considered unsafe to be rung regularly.

An inspection of the bells in St Andrew's church, Wickham Skeith, near Eye, two years ago found that the condition of the headstocks and other parts was deteriorating.

It was recommended that they should only be rung on special occasions such as the rare wedding services now held in the church.

No requests for the ringing of the bells were received last year and they have also stood silent so far this year.


You may also want to watch:


But villagers are determined to get them back into good condition so they can be regularly rung once more and have launched an appeal for funds.

Ron Wright, church organist and a local bellringer, said one of the bells could be cracked and all the headstocks and other fittings needed repair or replacement.

Most Read

"The last major works were carried out at the end of the 19th century," he said.

The bells, cast between 1615 and 1780, are due to be removed next month and taken to workshops in Derbyshire for repair and restoration.

The Friends of St Andrews organisation is contributing £8,000 and grants totally a further £8,350 have been promised from various sources.

However, this still leaves the small village, adult population 260, with the task of raising the remaining £8,650.

A programme of fund-raising events begins tomorrow with an auction of bric-a-brac and collectable items in the village hall.

The following weekend there will be a flower festival with the theme On the Wings of Song and visitors will also get the opportunity to climb the tower to see the bells.

On the evening of May 1 soprano Charlotte Newstead is due to give a concert, the proceeds being shared between the bell fund and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

A garden party with live jazz music is scheduled for May 22 at Wickham Hall, a beautiful old house next to the church.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter